Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2012


Great Plains Quarterly 32:2 (Spring 2012).


Copyright © 2012 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska.


"Massacre" is a fiery, often provocative word, and sometimes it is hard to define. In the American West, for example, in a violent encounter, how does one distinguish between 'massacre and battle? Such violence as Cutthroat Gap (1833), Oatman (1851), Mountain Meadows (1857), Bear River (1863), Sand Creek (1864), and McComas (1883) should be defined as massacres. But, how should one define the Sioux Uprising (1862), the Saline and Solomon rivers and the Washita (1868), Little Big Horn (1876), and Wounded Knee (1890)?